Laser guns appeared on movies, literatures, novels and many other media. People agree that it's a cool device when a battle scene occurs where both sides literally fires beam of lights on each others. Aside from (mostly) unrealistic slow speed of laser projectile, let's talk about how the laser impacts the surface. Basically, there are 2 kinds of laser categories that appear in most sci-fi works:
The pulse firing laser: this laser is basically the one who goes pew pew pew, aka shooting in short burts or semiautomatic firing. Usually, whenever the laser projectile of this kind hits any surface, it will almost always produce spark explosion, or sometimes a huge explosion and on some cases in huge battleship caliber laser cannon, literally leaves a crater on the ground, as if the gun that's being used is a railgun instead of energy weapon
The persistent firing laser: this is a type of laser gun that's fired in a long stream instead in controlled bursts. Usually used by focusing the beam on target or sweeping multiple targets at once. Sometimes potrayed by being used to (fairly realistically) gradually vaporize the surface of the target, or pierce straight through the target
Considering it takes much more power to create a sustaining laser beam instead of firing it in pulse, the impact of persistent laser should be more pronounced (not only just gradual vaporizing or piercing) than pulsed laser (where usually each shot can create mini explosion on impact)
I'm not a laser scientist, but just asking, is it really possible that laser guns (both types, assuming we can create them) behave like what movies or sci-fi works potrayed? Was it really possible for a pulsed light emission leave a crater on the ground? If it's indeed possible for a pulsed laser to create mini explosions on impact, then should the effect of persistent laser far more destructive than pulsed laser?
Let me know what you think